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Beware paedophiles, you are being watched

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CIOL Bureau
New Update

BANGALORE, INDIA: A young techie in Bangalore befriended a lady from the US in an online chat room and indulged in some erotic chats. But to his surprise, soon he found out, what he believed, the real identity of the ‘sexy chat friend’.

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She happened to be a 12-year-old girl. So what! The revelation ignited his fire further and he carried on the virtual ecstasy.

The spiced-up life went on quite happily for a while until one fine morning when a cop from Chennai knocked at his door. He was arrested and his computer seized. Then only he realized that his teenage chat buddy was an undercover US sleuth out to trap online paedophiles!

He was booked under the Information Technology Act and charges against him include making child pornography.

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Warning signal

This should serve as a warning signal to those indulging in hot chatting sessions with underages on the web. US cops are disguising themselves in online chat forums as kids enticing prospective paedophiles.

In the above case, authorities in the US had passed information about the guy to CBI, which in turn nabbed him.

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Twenty-seven-year-old Naveen, another techie from Bangalore, was also trapped in the same fashion after he chatted with a ‘12-year-old girl’ last year.

He is now cooling his heels in Montgomery County Jail in the US and his case has already made headlines as he has been unable to get bail and is barred from talking to his parents back home.

Naveen was sent on a project to the US by his company, HCL, in April last year. He befriended a girl in a chat room. Later he was told that his chat friend was 12-year-old girl. When he went to meet 'her' he was arrested.

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Guise 'n' trap

As paedophiles are posing a great problem world over, US police have made several arrests after playing online roles of underage girls or boys to trap such perverts.

A University of Alaska Fairbanks police officer posed as a 14-year-old girl and lured a 33-year-old married man. He sent his nude pictures to the ‘girl’ and said he liked to teach young people ‘self love’.

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The ‘teenager girl’ lured the father of the four kids, who brought with him KY Jelly and warming lubricant hoping for an encounter with his underaged chat friend. Sure, he was accorded a warm welcome but it was by the cops and not the girl whom he expected to take him to the seventh heaven.

Considering the rise in paedophilia, special training has been given to Alaska’s law enforcement officers to trap online child predators and child pornography collectors.

The officers belong to the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a statewide crime-fighting network designed to train police and educate the public about online paedophiles.

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It was in 2005 that online enticement of minors was made a crime in Alaska. Special training is given to members of the Task Force on terminologies used by teenagers so as to appear as genuine. The Task Force also deals with child pornography.

In May this year, Richard Doucet, a schoolteacher, was arrested for soliciting sex from a '13-year-old boy', who in fact was a detective of the Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The Task Force has so far made 16 arrests since 2006. Charges slapped on such people include using electronic device to solicit sex from minors, taking indecent liberties with a child and distributing child pornography.

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No law in India

Unfortunately the term paedophilia is a grey area in India, though this scourge has been there for quite some time.

Even today India doesn’t have an effective law to specifically book paedophiles, except in Goa, which has enacted a law against paedophilia, as this tiny state has become a safe destination for foreigners seeking sex with children.

But the scourge is not just limited to Goa only. Legal experts are vouching for an Act dealing with paedophilia for the entire country.

At present paedophiles are slapped a case of rape only if it is proved that he had a sexual intercourse with the child. If a paedophile has abused a child without indulging in intercourse, he can only be booked for the mere charge of abuse, and not paedophilia in particular.

Parents be cautious

The Internet allows immense freedom no other communication channel gives. It allows people to remain anonymous.

In the first place the child doesn’t really know whom they are talking to on the other end. After several chatting sessions, a child may develop sort of intimacy with the person on the other side, even though he or she hasn’t met him. For the kid, he is no longer a ‘stranger’.

Parents need to take some precautionary steps to prevent their wards from being lured away by paedophiles.

There’re sites about Internet safety. Check “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” by FBI (www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm).

Parents should educate their kids about the lurking dangers of Internet. Set boundaries. Explain appropriate and inappropriate Internet behaviors. If anyone is found developing intimacy with your child with ulterior motives, keep a watch and the same should be alerted to the law enforcement authorities.

Also, tell kids about the need to talk to you whenever someone asks them for information such as a residence phone number, address, etc.

Extra care should be taken to supervise the child’s Internet use by restricting their time on the Internet. It is important to ensure that your child’s computer is kept in a common area of the home.

Ensure that your child’s online profiles don’t carry too much personal information. Keep the passwords to your kids’ e-mail, chat and profile pages.

Also ensure that they don’t post their pictures in their online profiles. Once posted online, it has the danger of being misused. Someone who has downloaded that picture can always use it.

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